Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My letter to the Guardian RE Noam Chomsky

Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

RE Israel boycott campaign risks backfiring, says Noam Chomsky: US philosopher argues that parallels between BDS campaign and action against apartheid-era South Africa are misleading

Dear Editor,

Noam Chomsky is obsessed with convincing every audience he can reach to follow his lead in ignoring the vital importance of fully respecting the Palestinian refugees inalienable right to return- a basic human right affirmed and reaffirmed again and again by the United Nations formally and officially since 1948. 

I suspect if Chomsky's own security, his own inheritance and his own home and citizenship and his own ability to find and keep a job or an audience were on the line, he'd be much less inclined to endorse, promote, and whitewash Israels' cruel refusal to respect the Palestinians' basic human rights, including but not limited to the Palestinian refugees right to return to original homes and lands to live in peace.

And I suspect if he were a Palestinian trapped in the territories Israel illegally occupies, forced to deal day in and day out with sovereign Israeli insanities, he'd have a very different stance on nonviolent Boycott campaigns... But I don't think one needs to endorse BDS to be a firm believer in the importance of the universal right to return.

For most people on planet earth the Israel-Palestine conflict is an intellectual exercise with many different motivations for watching the news and weighing in- for some it is an emotional quest; for some it is a religious obsession; for some it is a job; for some it is a puzzle; for some it is entertainment; for some it is a chance to be an agent provocateur; for some it is an opportunity to be a bigot; for some it is an ego trip...etc... but for the Palestinians and their kith and kin it is a day in and day out harassment campaign and a never ending nightmare where refugees become refugees over and over and over, because clearly Israel wants the land but not the native non-Jewish population of that land.

I think ending the Israel-Palestine conflict as soon as possible with a fully secular two state solution based on full respect for international law and universal basic human rights ( including but not limited to the right to return to original homes and lands to live in peace) is the best way forward- for everyone's sake.

Anne Selden Annab

JORDAN TIMES: "It is the absence of peace between Israelis and Palestinians that breeds hatred and violence, and it is Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land that deprives its citizens of security."

UNWRA asks: What makes Palestine refugees poor?

Click by Click Culpability ... a Growing Gardens for Palestine poem by Anne Selden Annab

The Echo Chamber & ISIS

Self-fulfilling prophecies are a danger to Iraq and Syria... Let’s not wish ourselves into cataclysm before it’s too late.

Why it's way too soon to give up on the Arab Spring

"A strong advocate for mutual understanding and respect between Americans and Arabs, Naomi Shihab Nye has created a cultural space in America for people to come together to celebrate their commonalities alongside their differences. Her artistic spirit has inspired millions..."

It's time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace... It's time for freedom from occupation... It's time for equal rights.... It's time for the healing of wounded souls.

This Week in Palestine promotes the Palestinian cultural image as an expression of embodied experience, a mode of communication, and a form for understanding our society, history, ecology, and ultimately ourselves... Taking a very close look at Palestinian public diplomacy and promoting Palestine.

Abbas: Israel wants PA without authority: " “Israel’s acts in the West Bank are unjustified, their ways of searching the houses, assaulting locals and killing innocent people are rejected. Israel has taken away all authority from the Palestinian Authority..."

Bethlehem Arab Women's Union, a Sunbula partner, is among the oldest income generation projects in Palestine, starting in1949 as a first aid center for refugees from the Nakba. Visit their embroidery workshop at the heart of Bethlehem's Old City, near the Church of Nativity.

UNESCO supports Jordan, Palestine proposal on Jerusalem

UNESCO | Building peace in the minds of men and women... Emergency Nomination- Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines - Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir, inscribed on World Heritage List and on List of World Heritage in Danger

UNESCO grants Battir endangered heritage status

Elton Performs at Starry Starry Night Benefit for Palestinian refugee children

CNN: Presbyterian Church dumps companies it says help Israel suppress Palestinians

"I advocate a two-state solution, based upon the pre-1967 borders, that includes recognition of the plight of, and redress for, the refugees from 1948, and also guarantees equal rights under law for all citizens of the region, whatever their religion or ethnic background..." The Rolling Stones and Tel Aviv: EXCELLENT letter by Roger Waters (of Pink Flyod) in the NYTimes

"A multiplication of new crises, and at the same time old crises that seem never to die": More than 50 million displaced worldwide, half are children, many of them caught up in conflicts or persecution that world powers have been unable to prevent or end, UNHCR said in its annual Global Trends report.... Afghan, Syrian and Somali nationals accounted for 53 percent of the 11.7 million refugees under UNHCR's responsibility. Five million Palestinians are looked after by a sister agency UNRWA.

‘War’s Human Cost’: World's population of displaced tops 50 million, UN refugee agency reports... By the end of 2013, an estimated 51.2 million people worldwide were considered to be forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations

“one family torn apart by war is too many”

CSPAN to Cover Live ATFP's Iraq Crisis Panel, Monday, June 23, 2014 -National Press Club- Washington DC

"I have yet to meet a refugee who wanted to be a refugee and even less so, who wished to remain a refugee. Palestine refugees are no different. Their call for a just and lasting solution to their plight must be heard." UNWRA's Pierre Krähenbühl on World Refugee Day

A Palestinian Christian family that preaches non-violence from a farm in the West Bank is battling to hold on to land it has owned for 98 years. Now surrounded by Israeli settlements, the family is a living example of the idea of peaceful resistance.

Analysis: Presbyterian church shows Israel tough love "Presbyterians can use this opportunity to straighten the White House's spine based on what the administration already knows: Israel is intentionally blocking progress in the peace talks while jeopardizing US strategic interests in the region, not to mention the fate of Palestinians and Israelis alike."

"As long as Israel subjects Palestinian athletes to detention and violence, their seat at the table of international sports will be never be short of precarious."

Iraqi Christians flee homes amid militant push: During the past 11 years, at least half of the country's Christian population has fled the country, according to some estimates, to escape frequent attacks by Sunni Muslim militants targeting them and their churches.

Ziad J. Asali: Crisis in Iraq Risks Regional Conflagration: " Iraqi Shiites will continue to defeat their own purposes if they attempt to marginalize the Sunni community in a sectarian and exclusionary manner. Iraqi Sunnis cannot achieve their own goals by banding together around fanatical extremists."

The saga of Prof. Dajani is a subset of a broader Arab struggle between the forces of intelligence and stupidity: "The whole Arab world is at a turning point. If it continues to allow the stupidity and ignorance lobby, in all its myriad forms, to insist on cultural insularity, chauvinism, and deafness to the outside world, it will remain utterly stuck and unable to successfully join and compete in a globalizing world. But if the intelligence and knowledge constituency, as embodied by Prof. Dajani and so many other important leading Arabs, succeed in turning their societies away from decades of enforced parochialism, they will be among the most important groups in building a better future for the Middle East." Hussein Ibish

Palestinians villagers fear encroaching Israeli settlement bloc... Palestinian villager Ismail Taha: "It's stealing, and we have no means to defend ourselves. While they have biased courts, police and an army, we have no money and no power. We're peaceful, but..."

Visual map of how the Israeli ID system is stratified to limit democratic access to home ownership, security, services & participation in the polical system which creates and sustains the Israeli ID system

STAY CONNECTED... Given the U.S. commitment to religious freedom, and to the international covenants that guarantee it as the inalienable right of every human being, the United States seeks to: Promote freedom of religion and conscience throughout the world as a fundamental human right and as a source of stability for all countries

UNITED NATIONS: International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2014

Reasonable voices & helpful resources ...America for Palestine MAY 2014

The American Task Force on Palestine supports Palestinian institution-building, good governance, anti-corruption measures, economic development, and improved living standards. ATFP holds that these same values are relevant to the broader Arab world, and that the question of Palestine is inextricably linked to regional realities and developments.

ATFP provides an independent voice for Palestinian-Americans and their supporters and advances human rights and peace. It categorically and unequivocally condemns all violence against civilians, no matter the cause and who the victims or perpetrators may be.

The Arab villages lost since Israel's war of independence - Guardian Interactive: ...Pre 1948 ...March 1948 ... May 1948 ...June 1948 ...Oct 1948 ...July 1949 ...Now

Remembering the Nakba: Israeli group puts 1948 Palestine back on the map Zochrot aims to educate Israeli Jews – through tours and a new phone app – about a history obscured by enmity and denial

Growing Gardens for Palestine: "And it's up to all of us together"... a Spring poem for Palestine & peace

Peace Building ... civic muscle

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
"The only way to honor our tragic histories is to create a future for our children free of man-made tragedy. This means making peace fully, completely and without reservation, between Israel and Palestine." American Task Force on Palestine's born in Jerusalem Dr. Ziad Asali: To honor a tragic history, we must work for peace 

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